Anselmians snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

ANSELMIANS snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a tense and absorbing South Lancashire/Cheshire League One derby against Hoylake at Melrose Avenue.

Not surprisingly, Hoylake were left totally deflated after a 25-26 finish meant an eighth defeat of the campaign.

Just when they thought they had done enough to secure the points they made a hash of a clearance to hand their opponents the opportunity of possession inside the 22 metres line.

Desperate defence could not prevent the visiting forwards powering over between the posts in added time with Tongan Simione Mafe at the bottom of the heap.

It was then left to Simon Mason to claim the crucial conversion and a player of his experience and ability will rarely if ever squander such an opportunity.

Hoylake were penalised from the re-start and Anselmians kicked dead for their seventh victory and one which obviously tasted very sweet indeed.

Hoylake will ponder as to how and why it all went wrong. They looked powerful and pacy in the opening half.

Matt McClaren sped fifty metres for a fine individual try with Jack Lavin who created the chance adding the goal.

Then after a Mason penalty for Anselmians Joe Lavin found his way over following more good play by Jack Lavin. Another Mason penalty took the score to 12-6 at the half way stage.

Mason and Jack Lavin exchanged penalties soon after the break before a fourth Mason kick made it to 15-12 in Hoylake’s favour.

Early in the final quarter a series of scrums culminated in Andrew Stenhouse touching down for Anselmians with the Mason kick giving them a 19-15 advantage and the lead for the first time.

It was short lived. All the good work seemed likely to count for nothing as Jack Lavin sped away for an interception try for Hoylake on 65 minutes.

He added the extras and then a simple 79th minute penalty and it appeared to be all over.

Never-say-die Anselmians refused to throw in the towel and in added time somehow created the Mafe score.

At least there was a bonus losing point for Hoylake but they could and should have had more and find themselves down to twelfth in the table with Anselmians up to fourth.

New Brighton maintained their unbeaten record with a 36-17 victory over winless Ashton on Mersey at Hartsfield and have clear daylight at the top of the table.

It was only 15-10 at the break against a side which belied it’s bottom of the table placing but the Blues stretched clear later.

There were five tries in all via Phil Buckley (2), Gavin Attwood, Vinnie Dutton and Adam Pitt.

Stephen Dean landed four of the conversions and a penalty for good measure.

Caldy in National Two North romped to a 39-3 success over Birmingham and Solihull and are up to tenth in the division.

Their six-try bonus point performance had the Bees well and truly stung at Paton Field.

The visitors did open the scoring with a penalty but Caldy were soon in control Josiah Dickinson and Andrew Soutar each grabbed a brace of touch downs and there were others via Ben Eaves and Gavin Roberts.

Richard Vasey kept the score ticking with three of the conversions and a penalty and generally it was an excellent and satisfying all round display.

Wirral remain at the top of North One West but were given a real fright by visiting Warrington before taking the verdict 34-32 at the death and with it a bonus point.

The game see-sawed throughout and in a tense finish Jack Yarker scored a last move try for Wirral to level the scores. Craig Harvey held his nerve to add the goal to edge the verdict.

Matt Loon earlier scored two tries for Wirral. James Annetts and Alistair Baker also went in. Annetts kicked one conversion and Harvey three in all plus a penalty.

Warrington certainly played their part in a thriller with five touch downs, two conversions and a penalty.

Birkenhead Park bounced back from their defeat at the hands of Wirral with a 20-0 victory at Altrincham Kersal and trail their local rivals by a single point.

Skipper Dave Hall set them on their way with a second minute penalty and they went on to add three tries plus a Hall conversion in what was a very scrappy affair against spoiling opposition.

The first touch down after 32 minutes was credited to Gavin Scott following good forward play.

Hall converted and in added time Stu Brown was driven over from a line-out with Kersal paying for having a man in the bin.

It meant a 15-0 interval score and the only addition in the second period came from a classy individual try by Danny Rich after an hour.

Port Sunlight fell 15-40 at home to Bowden in South Lancashire/Cheshire Two and there was again defeat for luckless Wallasey this time 3-34 at Orrell.

Improving Oldershaw edged out Prenton 21-18 in a tight Division Three derby and are now only four points behind their second placed rivals.

Ellesmere Port dismissed Congleton 42-0 and Oxton Parkonians were happy with a 37-7 finish at Helsby.

Caldy face an interesting but tough Cheshire derby away to Macclesfield this Saturday.

The East Cheshire side heads the table after just one defeat to date.

Birkenhead Park will need to be at their best to contain in-form Vale of Lune at the Upper Park whilst Wirral will not be able to take anything for granted at Carlisle.

There is a tricky engagement for unbeaten New Brighton at West Park. Anselmians welcome Glossop and Hoylake are due at Manchester.

It is another full league Saturday with fixtures involving local clubs including Port Sunlight at Ramsey, Wallasey v Moore, Prenton v Ellesmere Port, Trentham v Oldershaw and Oxton Parkonians v Capenhurst in a re-arranged clash.

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